Veterinary Oncology
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Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. It is found in animals as well as humans. There are many different types of cancer that are found in animals, symptoms are often similar to those in people (eg. abnormal swelling, unexplained weight loss, lethargy / reluctance to exercise etc). Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in companion animals such as dogs and cats, it is particularly common in animals that live 10 years or longer. If treatment is appropriate this may include chemotherapy and surgery or radiotherapy.

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Veterinary Oncology Links
Recent Publications

Veterinary Oncology Links (11 links)

Recent Publications

Rodriguez CO
Using canine osteosarcoma as a model to assess efficacy of novel therapies: can old dogs teach us new tricks?
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 804:237-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Since its domestication more than 10,000 years ago, the dog has been the animal that most intimately shares our work and homelife. Interestingly, the dog also shares many of our diseases including cancer such as osteosarcoma. Like the human, osteosarcoma is the most common bone malignancy of the dog and death from pulmonary metastasis is the most common outcome. The incidence of this spontaneous bone neoplasm occurs ten times more frequently that it does so in children with about 8,000-10,000 cases estimated to occur in dogs in the USA. Because there is no "standard of care" in veterinary medicine, the dog can also serve us by being a model for this disease in children. Although the most common therapy for the dog with osteosarcoma is amputation followed by chemotherapy, not all owners choose this route. Consequently, novel therapeutic interventions can be attempted in the dog with or without chemotherapy that could not be done in humans with osteosarcoma due to ethical concerns. This chapter will focus on the novel therapies in the dog that have been reported or are in veterinary clinical trials at the author's institution. It is hoped that collaboration between veterinary oncologists and pediatric oncologists will lead to the development of novel therapies for (micro- or macro-) metastatic osteosarcoma that improve survival and might ultimately lead to a cure in both species.

Related: Bone Cancers Interleukin 2 (Aldesleukin) Signal Transduction Gemcitabine

Elliker KR, Sommerville BA, Broom DM, et al.
Key considerations for the experimental training and evaluation of cancer odour detection dogs: lessons learnt from a double-blind, controlled trial of prostate cancer detection.
BMC Urol. 2014; 14:22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cancer detection using sniffer dogs is a potential technology for clinical use and research. Our study sought to determine whether dogs could be trained to discriminate the odour of urine from men with prostate cancer from controls, using rigorous testing procedures and well-defined samples from a major research hospital.
METHODS: We attempted to train ten dogs by initially rewarding them for finding and indicating individual prostate cancer urine samples (Stage 1). If dogs were successful in Stage 1, we then attempted to train them to discriminate prostate cancer samples from controls (Stage 2). The number of samples used to train each dog varied depending on their individual progress. Overall, 50 unique prostate cancer and 67 controls were collected and used during training. Dogs that passed Stage 2 were tested for their ability to discriminate 15 (Test 1) or 16 (Tests 2 and 3) unfamiliar prostate cancer samples from 45 (Test 1) or 48 (Tests 2 and 3) unfamiliar controls under double-blind conditions.
RESULTS: Three dogs reached training Stage 2 and two of these learnt to discriminate potentially familiar prostate cancer samples from controls. However, during double-blind tests using new samples the two dogs did not indicate prostate cancer samples more frequently than expected by chance (Dog A sensitivity 0.13, specificity 0.71, Dog B sensitivity 0.25, specificity 0.75). The other dogs did not progress past Stage 1 as they did not have optimal temperaments for the sensitive odour discrimination training.
CONCLUSIONS: Although two dogs appeared to have learnt to select prostate cancer samples during training, they did not generalise on a prostate cancer odour during robust double-blind tests involving new samples. Our study illustrates that these rigorous tests are vital to avoid drawing misleading conclusions about the abilities of dogs to indicate certain odours. Dogs may memorise the individual odours of large numbers of training samples rather than generalise on a common odour. The results do not exclude the possibility that dogs could be trained to detect prostate cancer. We recommend that canine olfactory memory is carefully considered in all future studies and rigorous double-blind methods used to avoid confounding effects.

Related: Prostate Cancer

Thamm DH, Vail DM, Kurzman ID, et al.
GS-9219/VDC-1101--a prodrug of the acyclic nucleotide PMEG has antitumor activity in spontaneous canine multiple myeloma.
BMC Vet Res. 2014; 10:30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Multiple myeloma (MM) is an important human and canine cancer for which novel therapies remain necessary. VDC-1101 (formerly GS-9219), a novel double prodrug of the anti-proliferative nucleotide analog 9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl) guanine (PMEG), possesses potent cytotoxic activity in vitro in human lymphoblasts and leukemia cell lines and in vivo in spontaneous canine lymphoma. Given the similarity in lineage between lymphoma and MM, we hypothesized that VDC-1101 would be active against MM.
RESULTS: We evaluated the in vitro antiproliferative effects of VDC-1101 against 3 human MM cell lines, and we performed a phase-II clinical trial in 14 dogs with spontaneous MM. Each dog was treated with a maximum of 6 doses of VDC-1101 monotherapy over 10-15 weeks. Dose-dependent antiproliferative activity was observed in all evaluated cell lines. Major antitumor responses (reduction of serum paraprotein and resolution of hypercalcemia, peripheral cytopenias and bone marrow plasmacytosis) were observed in 9 of 11 evaluable dogs for a median of 172 days, including a durable stringent complete response (>1047 days) in a dog with melphalan-refractory disease. 2 dogs were euthanized due to presumed pulmonary fibrosis; there were no other dose-limiting toxicities encountered.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, VDC-1101 has significant anti-tumor activity at well-tolerated doses in spontaneous canine MM.

Related: Myeloma Myeloma - Molecular Biology

Pang LY, Gatenby EL, Kamida A, et al.
Global gene expression analysis of canine osteosarcoma stem cells reveals a novel role for COX-2 in tumour initiation.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e83144 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone tumour of both children and dogs. It is an aggressive tumour in both species with a rapid clinical course leading ultimately to metastasis. In dogs and children distant metastasis occurs in >80% of individuals treated by surgery alone. Both canine and human osteosarcoma has been shown to contain a sub-population of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which may drive tumour growth, recurrence and metastasis, suggesting that naturally occurring canine osteosarcoma could act as a preclinical model for the human disease. Here we report the successful isolation of CSCs from primary canine osteosarcoma, as well as established cell lines. We show that these cells can form tumourspheres, and demonstrate relative resistance to chemotherapy. We demonstrate similar results for the human osteosarcma cell lines, U2OS and SAOS2. Utilizing the Affymetrix canine microarray, we are able to definitively show that there are significant differences in global gene expression profiles of isolated osteosarcoma stem cells and the daughter adherent cells. We identified 13,221 significant differences (p = 0.05), and significantly, COX-2 was expressed 141-fold more in CSC spheres than daughter adherent cells. To study the role of COX-2 expression in CSCs we utilized the COX-2 inhibitors meloxicam and mavacoxib. We found that COX-2 inhibition had no effect on CSC growth, or resistance to chemotherapy. However inhibition of COX-2 in daughter cells prevented sphere formation, indicating a potential significant role for COX-2 in tumour initiation.

Related: Bone Cancers PTGS2 Doxorubicin Osteosarcoma

Kool MM, Galac S, Kooistra HS, Mol JA
Expression of angiogenesis-related genes in canine cortisol-secreting adrenocortical tumors.
Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2014; 47:73-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of angiogenesis-related genes in canine cortisol-secreting adrenocortical tumors (ATs). Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed mRNA encoding for vascular endothelial growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 1 and 2, angiopoietin 1 and 2 (ANGPT1 and ANGPT2), the splice variant ANGPT2443, the ANGPT-receptor Tie2, and basic fibroblast growth factor in 38 canine cortisol-secreting ATs (26 carcinomas and 12 adenomas) and 15 normal adrenals. The relative expression of both ANGPT2 and ANGPT2443 was higher in adenomas (P = 0.020 for ANGPT2 and P = 0.002 for ANGPT2443) and carcinomas (P = 0.003 for ANGPT2 and P < 0.001 for ANGPT2443) compared with normal adrenals, and this enhanced expression was also detected with Western blot analysis. Immunohistochemistry indicated expression of ANGPT2 protein in AT cells and in vascular endothelial cells of carcinomas, whereas Tie2 was mainly present in the tumor vascular endothelial cells. The ANGPT2-to-ANGTPT1 ratio, a marker for a proangiogenic state, was higher in both adenomas (P = 0.020) and carcinomas (P = 0.043). With the use of the human H295R cortisol-producing adrenocortical carcinoma cell line, we were able to demonstrate that the ANGPT2 expression was stimulated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate and progesterone but not by cortisol. In conclusion, canine cortisol-secreting ATs have enhanced ANGPT2 expression with a concomitant shift toward a proangiogenic state. On the basis of this information, treatment modalities may be developed that interfere with ANGPT2 expression, including inhibition of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A pathway, or of the effect of ANGPT2, by using specific ANGPT2 inhibitors.

Cho YW, Kim SY, Kwon IC, Kim IS
Complex adaptive therapeutic strategy (CATS) for cancer.
J Control Release. 2014; 175:43-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumors begin with a single cell, but as each tumor grows and evolves, it becomes a wide collection of clones that display remarkable heterogeneity in phenotypic features, which has posed a big challenge to current targeted anticancer therapy. Intra- and inter-tumoral heterogeneity is attributable in part to genetic mutations but also to adaptation and evolution of tumors to heterogeneity in tumor microenvironments. If tumors are viewed not only as a disease but also as a complex adaptive system (CAS), tumors should be treated as such and a more systemic approach is needed. Some of many tumors therapeutic strategies are discussed here from a view of a tumor as CAS, which can be collectively called a complex adaptive therapeutic strategy (CATS). The central theme of CATS is based on three intermediate concepts: i) disruption of artifacts, ii) disruption of connections, and iii) reprogramming of cancer-immune dynamics. Each strategy presented here is a piece of the puzzle for CATS. Although each piece by itself may be neither novel nor profound, an assembled puzzle could be a novel and innovative cancer therapeutic strategy.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Chen HW, Small GW, Motsinger-Reif A, et al.
VH1-44 gene usage defines a subset of canine B-cell lymphomas associated with better patient survival.
Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2014; 157(3-4):125-30 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/02/2015 Related Publications
The use of specific immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region (VH) genes has been associated with increased patient survival in human B-cell lymphomas (hBCL). Given the similarity of human and canine BCL (cBCL) in morphology and clinical treatment, we examined the choice of VH in cBCL and determined whether VH gene selection was a distinct feature associated with survival time in dogs. VH gene selection and mutational status in 52 cBCL, including 29 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (cDLBCL, the most common subtype of cBCL), were analyzed by comparison with the 80 published canine germline VH gene sequences. We further examined the prognostic impact of the subgroups defined by these features on canine survival. We found that VH1-44 was preferentially expressed in the majority of the 52 cBCLs (60%) as well as in the majority of the cDLBCL subset (59%). VH1-44 gene expression was associated with a statistically better overall survival (p=0.039) in cBCL patients, as well as in the cDLBCL subset of patients (p=0.038). These findings suggest that VH gene selection in cBCL is not random and may therefore have functional implications for cBCL lymphomagenesis, in addition to being a useful prognostic biomarker.

Scharf VF, Farese JP, Siemann DW, et al.
Effects of aurothiomalate treatment on canine osteosarcoma in a murine xenograft model.
Anticancer Drugs. 2014; 25(3):332-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is a highly fatal cancer, with most patients ultimately succumbing to metastatic disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the antirheumatoid drug aurothiomalate on canine and human osteosarcoma cells and on canine osteosarcoma growth and metastasis in a mouse xenograft model. We hypothesized that aurothiomalate would decrease osteosarcoma cell survival, tumor cellular proliferation, tumor growth, and metastasis. After performing clonogenic assays, aurothiomalate or a placebo was administered to 54 mice inoculated with canine osteosarcoma. Survival, tumor growth, embolization, metastasis, histopathology, cell proliferation marker Ki67, and apoptosis marker caspase-3 were compared between groups. Statistical analysis was carried out using the Kaplan-Meier method with the log-rank test and one-way analysis of variance with the Tukey's test or Dunn's method. Aurothiomalate caused dose-dependent inhibition of osteosarcoma cell survival (P<0.001) and decreased tumor growth (P<0.001). Pulmonary macrometastasis and Ki67 labeling were reduced with low-dose aurothiomalate (P=0.033 and 0.005, respectively), and tumor emboli and pulmonary micrometastases were decreased with high-dose aurothiomalate (P=0.010 and 0.011, respectively). There was no difference in survival, tumor development, ulceration, mitotic indices, tumor necrosis, nonpulmonary metastases, and caspase-3 labeling. Aurothiomalate treatment inhibited osteosarcoma cell survival and reduced tumor cell proliferation, growth, embolization, and pulmonary metastasis. Given aurothiomalate's established utility in canine and human medicine, our results suggest that this compound may hold promise as an adjunctive therapy for osteosarcoma. Further translational research is warranted to better characterize the dose response of canine and human osteosarcoma to aurothiomalate.

Related: Apoptosis Bone Cancers MKI67 Osteosarcoma

Nielsen CE, Wang X, Robinson RJ, et al.
Carcinogenic and inflammatory effects of plutonium-nitrate retention in an exposed nuclear worker and beagle dogs.
Int J Radiat Biol. 2014; 90(1):60-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Plutonium-nitrate has a moderately rapid translocation rate from the lung to blood stream. Previous studies have shown an unexpected retention of soluble plutonium in the beagles and human case studied here. The inflammatory responses that may be associated with long-term exposure to ionizing radiation were characterized. These pathways include tissue injury, apoptosis, and gene expression modifications. Other protein modifications related to carcinogenesis and inflammation and the various factors that may play a role in orchestrating complex interactions which influence tissue integrity following irradiation were investigated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have examined numerous lung samples from a plutonium-exposed worker, a human control, and a variety of plutonium-exposed beagle dogs using immunohistochemistry and quantitative Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR).
RESULTS: The exposed human showed interstitial fibrosis in peripheral regions of the lung, but no pulmonary tumors. Beagles with similar doses were diagnosed with tumors in bronchiolo-alveolar, peripheral and sub-pleural alveolar regions of the lung. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay showed an elevation of apoptosis in tracheal mucosa, tumor cells, and nuclear debris in the alveoli and lymph nodes of the beagles but not in the human case. In both the beagles and human there were statistically significant modifications in the expression of Fas ligand (FASLG), B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL2), and Caspase 3 (CASP3).
CONCLUSIONS: The data suggests that FASLG, BCL2, CASP3 and apoptosis play a role in the inflammatory responses following prolonged plutonium exposure. Utilizing these unique tissues revealed which pathways are triggered following the internal deposition and long-term retention of plutonium-nitrate in a human and a large animal model.

Yamazaki H, Takagi S, Hoshino Y, et al.
Inhibition of survivin influences the biological activities of canine histiocytic sarcoma cell lines.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e79810 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/02/2015 Related Publications
Canine histiocytic sarcoma (CHS) is an aggressive malignant neoplasm that originates from histiocytic lineage cells, including dendritic cells and macrophages, and is characterized by progressive local infiltration and a very high metastatic potential. Survivin is as an apoptotic inhibitory factor that has major functions in cell proliferation, including inhibition of apoptosis and regulation of cell division, and is expressed in most types of human and canine malignant neoplasms, including melanoma and osteosarcoma. To investigate whether survivin was expressed at high levels in CHS and whether its expression was correlated with the aggressive biological behavior of CHS, we assessed relation between survivin expression and CHS progression, as well as the effects of survivin inhibition on the biological activities of CHS cells. We comparatively analyzed the expression of 6 selected anti-apoptotic genes, including survivin, in specimens from 30 dogs with histiocytic sarcoma and performed annexin V staining to evaluate apoptosis, methylthiazole tetrazolium assays to assess cell viability and chemosensitivity, and latex bead assays to measure changes in phagocytic activities in 4 CHS cell lines and normal canine fibroblasts transfected with survivin siRNA. Survivin gene expression levels in 30 specimens were significantly higher than those of the other 6 genes. After transfection with survivin siRNA, apoptosis, cell growth inhibition, enhanced chemosensitivity, and weakened phagocytic activities were observed in all CHS cell lines. In contrast, normal canine fibroblasts were not significantly affected by survivin knockdown. These results suggested that survivin expression may mediate the aggressive biological activities of CHS and that survivin may be an effective therapeutic target for the treatment of CHS.

Related: Apoptosis

Pillai A, Moghe S, Gupta MK, Pathak A
A complex odontoma of the anterior maxilla associated with an erupting canine.
BMJ Case Rep. 2013; 2013 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many developmental anomalies of the jaw are accidentally diagnosed during radiographic investigations for other symptoms. Complex odontomas are odontogenic tumours, relatively rare in the anterior maxilla and generally asymptomatic. Frequently the odontoma may interfere with the eruption of teeth. This paper describes a case of complex odontoma in an 8-year-old girl, which resulted in the palatal displacement of the lateral incisor and an erupting permanent canine. A calcified mass was seen on the radiograph and was provisionally diagnosed as an odontoma which was surgically enucleated. Routine follow-up was carried out for more than 1 year and no recurrence was seen.

Comazzi S, Guscetti F, Marconato L
First meeting of the European canine lymphoma group. Workshop: state of the art and comparative aspects in canine lymphoma. CH-Lugano, 22 June 2013.
Hematol Oncol. 2014; 32(2):68-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
This satellite meeting to the 12th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma was conceived to bring together European researchers focused on canine lymphoma to explore several facets of this promising model of human disease. A series of invited lectures showed striking similarities between the two diseases namely in topics related to pathogenesis, diagnosis and classification and therapy. In particular, the potential value of the model was shown at the level of the NF-kB/p65 pathway, the Bcl-2 family of proteins, Ki67 and the S-phase fraction, as well as the MMPs, VEGF and PDGF. The utility of the growing body of well-characterized canine cell lines was stressed. The value of cytology and flow cytometry as tools for diagnosis, disease progression monitoring and prognosis were emphasized, whereas the failure so far of the standard immunohistochemical panel to differentiate between germinal centre and non-germinal centre diffuse large B-cell lymphomas subtypes in dogs was discussed. Further contributions included the report of encouraging results from a chemo-immunotherapy trial administered to dogs with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, an overview on the use of radiation therapy for canine lymphoma and the role of surgery in splenic lymphoma. Altogether, the success of this meeting, attended by more than 160 participants, documents the rising interest for the spontaneous canine lymphoma model.

Pratschke KM, Atherton MJ, Sillito JA, Lamm CG
Evaluation of a modified proportional margins approach for surgical resection of mast cell tumors in dogs: 40 cases (2008-2012).
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2013; 243(10):1436-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a modified proportional margins approach to resection of mast cell tumors (MCTs) in dogs.
DESIGN: Retrospective case series.
ANIMALS: 40 dogs with subcutaneous and cutaneous MCTs undergoing curative intent surgery.
PROCEDURES: Medical records were searched to identify dogs with a cytologically or histologically confirmed diagnosis of MCT that had not previously been treated surgically and that had undergone full oncological staging. In those dogs, tumors were resected with lateral margins equivalent to the widest measured diameter of the tumor and a minimum depth of 1 well-defined fascial plane deep to the tumor. Surgical margins were evaluated histologically. Cutaneous tumors were graded by use of the Patnaik system and the 2-tier system described by Kiupel et al. The prognosis for subcutaneous tumors was assessed in accordance with published recommendations. Follow-up information on dog health status was obtained through clinical examination, the dog owners, and the referring veterinarians.
RESULTS: The 40 dogs had 47 tumors. Forty-one (87%) tumors were cutaneous, and 6 (13%) were subcutaneous. On the basis of the Patnaik system, 21 (51%) cutaneous tumors were considered grade I, 18 (44%) were considered grade II, and 2 (5%) were considered grade III. On the basis of the Kiupel system, 37 (90%) cutaneous tumors were considered low grade, and 4 (10%) were considered high grade. The prognosis for the 6 subcutaneous tumors was classified as likely resulting in a shorter (2) or longer (4) survival time. Forty tumors were deemed to have been excised with clear margins and 7 with incomplete margins. Local recurrence was not recorded for any dog but was suspected for 1 (2%) tumor, although not confirmed. Interval from tumor excision to follow-up ranged from 30 to 1,140 days (median, 420 days).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The modified proportional margins system resulted in satisfactory local disease control in dogs with MCTs.

Related: Skin Cancer

Debinski W, Dickinson P, Rossmeisl JH, et al.
New agents for targeting of IL-13RA2 expressed in primary human and canine brain tumors.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e77719 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/02/2015 Related Publications
Interleukin 13 receptor alpha 2 (IL-13RA2) is over-expressed in a vast majority of human patients with high-grade astrocytomas like glioblastoma. Spontaneous astrocytomas in dogs resemble human disease and have been proposed as translational model system for investigation of novel therapeutic strategies for brain tumors. We have generated reagents for both detection and therapeutic targeting of IL-13RA2 in human and canine brain tumors. Peptides from three different regions of IL-13RA2 with 100% sequence identity between human and canine receptors were used as immunogens for generation of monoclonal antibodies. Recombinant canine mutant IL-13 (canIL-13.E13K) and canIL-13.E13K based cytotoxin were also produced. The antibodies were examined for their immunoreactivities in western blots, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and cell binding assays using human and canine tumor specimen sections, tissue lysates and established cell lines; the cytotoxin was tested for specific cell killing. Several isolated MAbs were immunoreactive to IL-13RA2 in western blots of cell and tissue lysates from glioblastomas from both human and canine patients. Human and canine astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas were also positive for IL-13RA2 to various degrees. Interestingly, both human and canine meningiomas also exhibited strong reactivity. Normal human and canine brain samples were virtually negative for IL-13RA2 using the newly generated MAbs. MAb 1E10B9 uniquely worked on tissue specimens and western blots, bound live cells and was internalized in GBM cells over-expressing IL-13RA2. The canIL-13.E13K cytotoxin was very potent and specific in killing canine GBM cell lines. Thus, we have obtained several monoclonal antibodies against IL-13RA2 cross-reacting with human and canine receptors. In addition to GBM, other brain tumors, such as high grade oligodendrogliomas, meningiomas and canine choroid plexus papillomas, appear to express the receptor at high levels and thus may be appropriate candidates for IL-13RA2-targeted imaging/therapies. Canine spontaneous primary brain tumors represent an excellent translational model for human counterparts.

Related: Monoclonal Antibodies

Simpson RM, Bastian BC, Michael HT, et al.
Sporadic naturally occurring melanoma in dogs as a preclinical model for human melanoma.
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2014; 27(1):37-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Melanoma represents a significant malignancy in humans and dogs. Different from genetically engineered models, sporadic canine melanocytic neoplasms share several characteristics with human disease that could make dogs a more relevant preclinical model. Canine melanomas rarely arise in sun-exposed sites. Most occur in the oral cavity, with a subset having intra-epithelial malignant melanocytes mimicking the in situ component of human mucosal melanoma. The spectrum of canine melanocytic neoplasia includes benign lesions with some analogy to nevi, as well as invasive primary melanoma, and widespread metastasis. Growing evidence of distinct subtypes in humans, differing in somatic and predisposing germ-line genetic alterations, cell of origin, epidemiology, relationship to ultraviolet radiation and progression from benign to malignant tumors, may also exist in dogs. Canine and human mucosal melanomas appear to harbor BRAF, NRAS, and c-kit mutations uncommonly, compared with human cutaneous melanomas, although both species share AKT and MAPK signaling activation. We conclude that there is significant overlap in the clinical and histopathological features of canine and human mucosal melanomas. This represents opportunity to explore canine oral cavity melanoma as a preclinical model.

Related: Melanoma Oral Cancer Skin Cancer

Campbell LF, Farmery L, George SM, Farrant PB
Canine olfactory detection of malignant melanoma.
BMJ Case Rep. 2013; 2013 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our patient is a 75-year-old man who presented after his pet dog licked persistently at an asymptomatic lesion behind his right ear. Examination revealed a nodular lesion in the postauricular sulcus. Histology confirmed malignant melanoma, which was subsequently excised. Canine olfactory detection of human malignancy is a well-documented phenomenon. Advanced olfaction is hypothesised to explain canine detection of bladder, breast, colorectal, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers. Further research in this area may facilitate the development of a highly accurate aid to diagnosis for many malignancies, including melanoma.

Related: Melanoma Skin Cancer

Gillard M, Cadieu E, De Brito C, et al.
Naturally occurring melanomas in dogs as models for non-UV pathways of human melanomas.
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2014; 27(1):90-102 [PubMed] Related Publications
Spontaneously occurring melanomas are frequent in dogs. They appear at the same localizations as in humans, i.e. skin, mucosal sites, nail matrix and eyes. They display variable behaviors: tumors at oral localizations are more frequent and aggressive than at other anatomical sites. Interestingly, dog melanomas are associated with strong breed predispositions and overrepresentation of black-coated dogs. Epidemiological analysis of 2350 affected dogs showed that poodles are at high risk of developing oral melanoma, while schnauzers or Beauce shepherds mostly developped cutaneous melanoma. Clinical and histopathological analyses were performed on a cohort of 153 cases with a 4-yr follow-up. Histopathological characterization showed that most canine tumors are intradermal and homologous to human rare morphological melanomas types - 'nevocytoid type' and 'animal type'-. Tumor cDNA sequencing data, obtained from 95 dogs for six genes, relevant to human melanoma classification, detected somatic mutations in oral melanoma, in NRAS and PTEN genes, at human hotspot sites, but not in BRAF. Altogether, these findings support the relevance of the dog model for comparative oncology of melanomas, especially for the elucidation of non-UV induced pathways.

Related: Melanoma Oral Cancer

Hwang CC, Umeki S, Kubo M, et al.
Oncolytic reovirus in canine mast cell tumor.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e73555 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
The usage of reovirus has reached phase II and III clinical trials in human cancers. However, this is the first study to report the oncolytic effects of reovirus in veterinary oncology, focusing on canine mast cell tumor (MCT), the most common cutaneous tumor in dogs. As human and canine cancers share many similarities, we hypothesized that the oncolytic effects of reovirus can be exploited in canine cancers. The objective of this study was to determine the oncolytic effects of reovirus in canine MCT in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo. We demonstrated that MCT cell lines were highly susceptible to reovirus as indicated by marked cell death, high production of progeny virus and virus replication. Reovirus induced apoptosis in the canine MCT cell lines with no correlation to their Ras activation status. In vivo studies were conducted using unilateral and bilateral subcutaneous MCT xenograft models with a single intratumoral reovirus treatment and apparent reduction of tumor mass was exhibited. Furthermore, cell death was induced by reovirus in primary canine MCT samples in vitro. However, canine and murine bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMCMC) were also susceptible to reovirus. The combination of these results supports the potential value of reovirus as a therapy in canine MCT but warrants further investigation on the determinants of reovirus susceptibility.

Related: Apoptosis

Mudaliar MA, Haggart RD, Miele G, et al.
Comparative gene expression profiling identifies common molecular signatures of NF-κB activation in canine and human diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL).
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e72591 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
We present the first comparison of global transcriptional changes in canine and human diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), with particular reference to the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway. Microarray data generated from canine DLBCL and normal lymph nodes were used for differential expression, co-expression and pathway analyses, and compared with analysis of microarray data from human healthy and DLBCL lymph nodes. The comparisons at gene level were performed by mapping the probesets in canine microarrays to orthologous genes in humans and vice versa. A considerable number of differentially expressed genes between canine lymphoma and healthy lymph node samples were also found differentially expressed between human DLBCL and healthy lymph node samples. Principal component analysis using a literature-derived NF-κB target gene set mapped to orthologous canine array probesets and human array probesets clearly separated the healthy and cancer samples in both datasets. The analysis demonstrated that for both human and canine DLBCL there is activation of the NF-κB/p65 canonical pathway, indicating that canine lymphoma could be used as a model to study NF-κB-targeted therapeutics for human lymphoma. To validate this, tissue arrays were generated for canine and human NHL and immunohistochemistry was employed to assess NF-κB activation status. In addition, human and canine B-cell lymphoma lines were assessed for NF-κB activity and the effects of NF-κB inhibition.

Wiese DA, Thaiwong T, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan V, Kiupel M
Feline mammary basal-like adenocarcinomas: a potential model for human triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) with basal-like subtype.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:403 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), an immunophenotype defined by the absence of immunolabeling for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2 protein, has a highly aggressive behavior. A subpopulation of TNBCs exhibit a basal-like morphology with immunohistochemical positivity for cytokeratins 5/6 (CK5/6) and/or epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and have a high incidence of BRCA (breast cancer susceptibility) mutations. Feline mammary adenocarcinomas (FMAs) are highly malignant and share a similar basal-like subtype. The purpose of this study was to classify FMAs according to the current human classification of breast cancer that includes evaluation of ER, PR and HER2 status and expression of basal CK 5/6 and EGFR. Furthermore, we selected triple negative, basal-like FMAs to screen for BRCA mutations similar to those described in human TNBC.
METHODS: Twenty four FMAs were classified according to the current human histologic breast cancer classification including immunohistochemistry (IHC) for ER, PR HER2, CK5/6 and EGFR. Genetic alteration and loss of heterozygosity of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were analyzed in triple negative, basal-like FMAs.
RESULTS: IHC for ER, PR and HER2 identified 14 of the 24 (58%) FMAs as a triple negative. Furthermore, 11 of these 14 (79%) triple negative FMAs had a basal-like subtype. However, no genetic abnormalities were detected in BRCA1 and BRCA2 by direct sequencing and loss of heterozygosity analysis.
CONCLUSION: FMAs are highly aggressive neoplasms that are commonly triple negative and exhibit a basal-like morphology. This is similar to human TNBC that are also commonly classified as a basal-like subtype. While sequencing of a select number of triple negative, basal-like FMAs and testing for loss of heterozygosity of BRCA1 and BRCA2 did not identify mutations similar to those described in human TNBC, further in-depth evaluation is required to elucidate a potential role of BRCA in the tumorigenesis of triple negative, basal-like FMAs. The strong similarities in clinical behavior, morphology and IHC phenotype suggest that triple negative, basal-like FMAs may be a suitable spontaneous animal model for studying novel therapeutic approaches against human basal-like TNBC.

Related: BRCA1 BRCA2

Condiotti R, Goldenberg D, Giladi H, et al.
Transduction of fetal mice with a feline lentiviral vector induces liver tumors which exhibit an E2F activation signature.
Mol Ther. 2014; 22(1):59-68 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Lentiviral vectors are widely used in basic research and clinical applications for gene transfer and long-term expression; however, safety issues have not yet been completely resolved. In this study, we characterized hepatocarcinomas that developed in mice 1 year after in utero administration of a feline-derived lentiviral vector. Mapped viral integration sites differed among tumors and did not coincide with the regions of chromosomal aberrations. Furthermore, gene expression profiling revealed that no known cancer-associated genes were deregulated in the vicinity of viral integrations. Nevertheless, five of the six tumors exhibited highly significant upregulation of E2F target genes, of which a majority are associated with oncogenesis, DNA damage response, and chromosomal instability. We further show in vivo and in vitro that E2F activation occurs early on following transduction of both fetal mice and cultured human hepatocytes. On the basis of the similarities in E2F target gene expression patterns among tumors and the lack of evidence implicating insertional mutagenesis, we propose that transduction of fetal mice with a feline lentiviral vector induces E2F-mediated major cellular processes that drive hepatocytes toward uncontrolled proliferation culminating in tumorigenesis.

Related: Liver Cancer

Horvath G, Andersson H, Nemes S
Cancer odor in the blood of ovarian cancer patients: a retrospective study of detection by dogs during treatment, 3 and 6 months afterward.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:396 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In recent decades it has been noted that trained dogs can detect specific odor molecules emitted by cancer cells. We have shown that the same odor can also be detected in the patient's blood with high sensitivity and specificity by trained dogs. In the present study, we examined how the ability of dogs to detect this smell was affected by treatment to reduce tumor burden, including surgery and five courses of chemotherapy.
METHODS: In Series I, one drop of plasma from each of 42 ovarian cancer patients (taken between the fifth and sixth courses of chemotherapy) and 210 samples from healthy controls were examined by two trained dogs. All 42 patients in Series I had clinical complete responses, all except two had normal CA-125 values and all were declared healthy after primary treatment. In Series II, the dogs examined blood taken from a new subset of 10 patients at 3 and 6 months after the last (sixth) course of chemotherapy.
RESULTS: In Series I, the dogs showed high sensitivity (97%) and specificity (99%), for detecting viable cancer cells or molecular cancer markers in the patients' plasma. Indeed, 29 of 42 patients died within 5 years. In Series II, the dogs indicated positive samples from three of the 10 patients at both the 3- and 6-month follow-up. All three patients had recurrences, and two died 3-4 years after the end of treatment. This was one of the most important findings of this study. Seven patients were still alive in January 2013.
CONCLUSIONS: Although our study was based on a limited number of selected patients, it clearly suggests that canine detection gave us a very good assessment of the prognosis of the study patients. Being able to detect a marker based on the specific cancer odor in the blood would enhance primary diagnosis and enable earlier relapse diagnosis, consequently increasing survival.

Related: Ovarian Cancer

Ito J, Watanabe S, Hiratsuka T, et al.
Refrex-1, a soluble restriction factor against feline endogenous and exogenous retroviruses.
J Virol. 2013; 87(22):12029-40 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
The host defense against viral infection is acquired during the coevolution or symbiosis of the host and pathogen. Several cellular factors that restrict retroviral infection have been identified in the hosts. Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a gammaretrovirus that is classified into several receptor interference groups, including a novel FeLV-subgroup D (FeLV-D) that we recently identified. FeLV-D is generated by transduction of the env gene of feline endogenous gammaretrovirus of the domestic cat (ERV-DCs) into FeLV. Some ERV-DCs are replication competent viruses which are present and hereditary in cats. We report here the determination of new viral receptor interference groups and the discovery of a soluble antiretroviral factor, termed Refrex-1. Detailed analysis of FeLV-D strains and ERV-DCs showed two receptor interference groups that are distinct from other FeLV subgroups, and Refrex-1 specifically inhibited one of them. Refrex-1 is characterized as a truncated envelope protein of ERV-DC and includes the N-terminal region of surface unit, which is a putative receptor-binding domain, but lacks the transmembrane region. Refrex-1 is efficiently secreted from the cells and appears to cause receptor interference extracellularly. Two variants of Refrex-1 encoded by provirus loci, ERV-DC7 and DC16, are expressed in a broad range of feline tissues. The host retains Refrex-1 as an antiretroviral factor, which may potentially prevent reemergence of the ERVs and the emergence of novel ERV-related viruses in cats. Refrex-1 may have been acquired during endogenization of ERV-DCs and may play an important role in retroviral restriction and antiviral defense in cats.

Amundsen T, Sundstrøm S, Buvik T, et al.
Can dogs smell lung cancer? First study using exhaled breath and urine screening in unselected patients with suspected lung cancer.
Acta Oncol. 2014; 53(3):307-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: On the basis of our own experience and literature search, we hypothesised that a canine olfactory test may be useful for detecting lung cancer in an unselected population of patients suspected to have lung cancer.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted a prospective study of 93 patients consecutively admitted to hospital with suspected lung cancer. Exhaled breath and urine were sampled before the patients underwent bronchoscopy. The canine olfactory test was performed in a double-blinded manner. Sensitivity and specificity were outcome measures.
RESULTS: With 99% sensitivity, the olfactory test demonstrated that dogs have the ability to distinguish cancer patients from healthy individuals. With an intensified training procedure, the exhaled breath and urine tests showed sensitivity rates of 56-76% and specificity rates of 8.3-33.3%, respectively, in our heterogeneous study population.
CONCLUSION: Although the olfactory test appears to be a promising tool for the detection of cancer, the main challenge is to determine whether the test can sufficiently discriminate between patients at risk, patients with benign disease, and patients with malignant disease. We need to gain a deeper understanding of this test and further refine it before applying it as a screening tool for lung cancer in clinical settings.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer Small Cell Lung Cancer Bladder Cancer Bladder Cancer - Molecular Biology

Fukumoto S, Hanazono K, Fu DR, et al.
A new treatment for human malignant melanoma targeting L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1): a pilot study in a canine model.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013; 439(1):103-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1), an isoform of amino acid transport system L, transports branched or aromatic amino acids essential for fundamental cellular activities such as cellular growth, proliferation and maintenance. This amino acid transporter recently has received attention because of its preferential and up-regulated expression in a variety of human tumors in contrast to its limited distribution and low-level expression in normal tissues. In this study, we explored the feasibility of using LAT1 inhibitor as a new therapeutic agent for human malignant melanomas (MM) using canine spontaneous MM as a model for human MM. A comparative study of LAT expression was performed in 48 normal tissues, 25MM tissues and five cell lines established from MM. The study observed LAT1 mRNA levels from MM tissues and cell lines that were significantly (P<0.01) higher than in normal tissues. Additionally, MM with distant metastasis showed a higher expression than those without distant metastasis. Functional analysis of LAT1 was performed on one of the five cell lines, CMeC-1. [(3)H]l-Leucine uptake and cellular growth activities in CMeC-1 were inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by selective LAT1 inhibitors (2-amino-2-norbornane-carboxylic acid, BCH and melphalan, LPM). Inhibitory growth activities of various conventional anti-cancer drugs, including carboplatin, cyclophosphamide, dacarbazine, doxorubicin, mitoxantrone, nimustine, vinblastine and vincristine, were significantly (P<0.05) enhanced by combination use with BCH or LPM. These findings suggest that LAT1 could be a new therapeutic target for MM.

Related: Melanoma Melphalan

Shafiee R, Javanbakht J, Atyabi N, et al.
Comparative value of clinical, cytological, and histopathological features in feline mammary gland tumors; an experimental model for the study of human breast cancer.
Diagn Pathol. 2013; 8:136 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of breast lesions is usually confirmed by fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) or histological biopsy. Although there is increasing literature regarding the advantages and limitations of both modalities, there is no literature regarding the accuracy of these modalities for diagnosing breast lesions in high-risk patients, who usually have lesions detected by screening. Moreover, few studies have been published regarding the cytopathology of mammary tumors in cats despite widespread use of the animal model for breast cancer formation and inhibition. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the diagnostic interest of cytological and histopathological analysis in feline mammary tumours (FMTs), in order to evaluate its possible value as an animal model.
METHODS: The study was performed in 3 female cats submitted to surgical resections of mammary tumours. The mammary tumours were excised by simple mastectomy or regional mastectomy, with or without the superficial inguinal lymph nodes. Female cats were of different breeds (1 siamese and 2 persians). Before surgical excision of the tumour, FNA cytology was performed using a 0.4 mm diameter needle attached to a 8 ml syringe held in a standard metal syringe holder. The cytological sample was smeared onto a glass slide and either air-dried for May-Grünwald-stain and masses were surgically removed, the tumours were grossly examined and tissue samples were fixed in 10%-buffered-formalin and embedded in paraffin. Sections 4 μm thick were obtained from each sample and H&E stained.
RESULTS: Cytologically, atypical epithelial cells coupled to giant nucleus, chromatin anomalies, mitotic figures, spindle shape cells, anisocytosis with anisokaryosis and hyperchromasia were found. Histologically, these tumors are characterized by pleomorphic and polygonal cell population together with mitotic figures, necrotic foci and various numbers inflammatory foci. Also, spindle shaped cells, haemorrhage localized in the different regions, local invasiveness and enlarged nuclei were observed. The samples included 3 tumors of mammary glands mammary tumors were complex carcinomas (n = 2) and adenocarcinoma (n = 1). The histological grades of the 3 cases were as follows: grade II, (1/3); grade III, (2/3) with high mitotic index. The preferential localization of mammary neoplasms was in the inguinal lobe (1/3 case) and abdominal lobes (2/3 cases). Furthermore, 1case of the inguinal mass affected the left caudo-inguinal lobe and 2cases right cranio and caudo abdominal lobes.
CONCLUSION: The study concluded that cytology could be used as a quick, rapid, field diagnostic technique in combination with histopathology for the diagnosis of feline mammary tumors (FMTs). Our findings in feline MTs indicate that FMTs could be useful as an animal model of human breast cancer. Moreover, because of the similarity of the cytohistopathological findings in the human and feline mammary gland tumours, it is possible to use the same cytopathological criteria applied in human pathology for the diagnosis of feline mammary gland tumours.
VIRTUAL SLIDE: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:

Boerkamp KM, van der Kooij M, van Steenbeek FG, et al.
Gene expression profiling of histiocytic sarcomas in a canine model: the predisposed flatcoated retriever dog.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e71094 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The determination of altered expression of genes in specific tumor types and their effect upon cellular processes may create insight in tumorigenesis and help to design better treatments. The Flatcoated retriever is a dog breed with an exceptionally high incidence of histiocytic sarcomas. The breed develops two distinct entities of histiocytic neoplasia, a soft tissue form and a visceral form. Gene expression studies of these tumors have value for comparable human diseases such as histiocytic/dendritic cell sarcoma for which knowledge is difficult to accrue due to their rare occurrence. In addition, such studies may help in the search for genetic aberrations underlying the genetic predisposition in this dog breed.
METHODS: Microarray analysis and pathway analyses were performed on fresh-frozen tissues obtained from Flatcoated retrievers with localized, soft tissue histiocytic sarcomas (STHS) and disseminated, visceral histiocytic sarcomas (VHS) and on normal canine spleens from various breeds. Expression differences of nine genes were validated with quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) analyses.
RESULTS: QPCR analyses identified the significantly altered expression of nine genes; PPBP, SpiC, VCAM1, ENPEP, ITGAD (down-regulated), and GTSF1, Col3a1, CD90 and LUM (up-regulated) in the comparison of both the soft tissue and the visceral form with healthy spleen. DAVID pathway analyses revealed 24 pathways that were significantly involved in the development of HS in general, most of which were involved in the DNA repair and replication process.
CONCLUSIONS: This study identified altered expression of nine genes not yet implicated in histiocytic sarcoma manifestations in the dog nor in comparable human histiocytic/dendritic sarcomas. Exploration of the downside effect of canine inbreeding strategies for the study of similar sarcomas in humans might also lead to the identification of genes related to these rare malignancies in the human.

Gupta SC, Sung B, Prasad S, et al.
Cancer drug discovery by repurposing: teaching new tricks to old dogs.
Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2013; 34(9):508-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Progressively increasing failure rates, high cost, poor bioavailability, poor safety, limited efficacy, and a lengthy design and testing process associated with cancer drug development have necessitated alternative approaches to drug discovery. Exploring established non-cancer drugs for anticancer activity provides an opportunity rapidly to advance therapeutic strategies into clinical trials. The impetus for development of cancer therapeutics from non-cancer drugs stems from the fact that different diseases share common molecular pathways and targets in the cell. Common molecular origins of diverse diseases have been discovered through advancements in genomics, proteomics, and informatics technologies, as well as through the development of analytical tools that allow researchers simultaneously to screen large numbers of existing drugs against a particular disease target. Thus, drugs originally identified as antitussive, sedative, analgesic, antipyretic, antiarthritic, anesthetic, antidiabetic, muscle relaxant, immunosuppressant, antibiotic, antiepileptic, cardioprotective, antihypertensive, erectile function enhancing, or angina relieving are being repurposed for cancer. This review describes the repurposing of these drugs for cancer treatment.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Fukumoto S, Hanazono K, Komatsu T, et al.
L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1): a new therapeutic target for canine mammary gland tumour.
Vet J. 2013; 198(1):164-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1), an isoform of amino acid transport system L, transports branched or aromatic amino acids essential for fundamental cellular activities, such as cellular growth, proliferation and maintenance. LAT1 has recently received attention because of its preferential and upregulated expression in a variety of human tumours which is in contrast to its limited distribution and low-level expression in normal tissues. In this study, the feasibility of using an LAT1 inhibitor as a new therapeutic agent was explored for mammary gland tumours (MGT). [(3)H]l-leucine uptake by CHM, a cell line established from MGT, and effects on cell growth were analysed in the presence or absence of two LAT1 inhibitors, namely, BCH (2-amino-2-norbornane-carboxylic acids) or melphalan (LPM). [(3)H]l-leucine uptake and cellular growth activities in CHM were inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by both LAT1 inhibitors. The inhibitory growth activities of various conventional anti-cancer drugs used for MGT treatment, including carboplatin, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, mitoxantrone, vinblastine and vincristine, were significantly enhanced by combining use with BCH or LPM. The findings suggest that LAT1 could be a new therapeutic target for canine MGT.

Related: Melphalan

Andersen NJ, Nickoloff BJ, Dykema KJ, et al.
Pharmacologic inhibition of MEK signaling prevents growth of canine hemangiosarcoma.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2013; 12(9):1701-14 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Angiosarcoma is a rare neoplasm of endothelial origin that has limited treatment options and poor five-year survival. As a model for human angiosarcoma, we studied primary cells and tumorgrafts derived from canine hemangiosarcoma (HSA), which is also an endothelial malignancy with similar presentation and histology. Primary cells isolated from HSA showed constitutive extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation. The mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK) inhibitor CI-1040 reduced ERK activation and the viability of primary cells derived from visceral, cutaneous, and cardiac HSA in vitro. HSA-derived primary cells were also sensitive to sorafenib, an inhibitor of B-Raf and multireceptor tyrosine kinases. In vivo, CI-1040 or PD0325901 decreased the growth of cutaneous cell-derived xenografts and cardiac-derived tumorgrafts. Sorafenib decreased tumor size in both in vivo models, although cardiac tumorgrafts were more sensitive. In human angiosarcoma, we noted that 50% of tumors stained positively for phosphorylated ERK1/2 and that the expression of several MEK-responsive transcription factors was upregulated. Our data showed that MEK signaling is essential for the growth of HSA in vitro and in vivo and provided evidence that the same pathways are activated in human angiosarcoma. This indicates that MEK inhibitors may form part of an effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of canine HSA or human angiosarcoma, and it highlights the use of spontaneous canine cancers as a model of human disease.

Related: Signal Transduction Sorafenib (Nexavar)

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